Mentoring can be overwhelming to think about. However, mentoring is biblical and necessary for believers, and it doesn’t have to be burdensome.
How do you get started as a mentor or mentee? Should you ask someone randomly? How will she respond?
Former missionary Danette High addresses these common situations in Christian Women’s Leadership Center’s Follower Skills course. She says while most women desire a mentoring relationship, some older women don’t want to come across as prideful by offering to come alongside younger women. Meanwhile, younger women don’t want to ask older women because they think older women won’t have time to spend on them.
These presumptions keep women from a life-changing mentoring relationship. Asking simple questions may open the door for opportunities. For example, Danette shared how you can point out how someone prays with expectation. You could ask whether she has time to meet and help you learn to pray with confidence. If you define what you’re asking for instead of asking for a mentor, the person you ask won’t feel unqualified or you’re asking for more time than she has available.
And you may have more opportunities to meet other women to be your mentor or mentee than you think. Start by looking for intergenerational opportunities within your church. Consider the following ideas:
Gather around the dinner table once a month to discuss life and Christ-centered topics with women of different ages and life stages. Then see whether another woman in the group has experienced a similar life circumstance. If you notice how a woman handles certain situations in life with grace, then ask her to meet with you over coffee to discuss what’s going on in your life and how to react in a way consistent with the Bible. If you observe another woman going through a situation you’ve been through, then send her words of encouragement and keep up with her outside the group.
Bible studies highlight ways you can learn from others. Does a woman study the Bible in a unique way? Does she take specific notes or follow a certain reading plan? Ask her whether she would have time to read a chapter and walk through it with you. Invite a woman in your group to take an hour to prepare for your Bible study with you.
As you serve on missions teams, do you admire the way someone serves? Ask her whether you could serve alongside her or plan a project to do together when you return home. Discover her story and passions. Or encourage a younger woman to sign up for a missions opportunity with you. Pray for ways you can reach others with the passion the Lord has given you to share His love.
Are you a part of a women’s group that meets to pray for missions and the work of your church? Connect with a prayer warrior. Ask someone to share about prayer and pray with you. Pray for someone who seems quiet or seems to struggle with knowing how to pray.
A mentoring relationship is an exciting part of the Christian journey and makes an eternal impact. It’s all about seeking out women who point you to Jesus, not themselves, and walking alongside others on their Christian journey.
What a wonderful way to grow, learn, share, and fellowship while also building a foundation for reaching out to others along the way, all for the glory of God.
January is National Mentoring Month, but the influence of a Christian mentor is invaluable year-round. Read a beautiful example of mentoring here. And consider registering for the Follower Skills course.
Cara Brown is gleaning as much as she can from the godly women in her table group in Birmingham, Alabama.
This article originally appeared in the January 2022 issue of Missions Mosaic. To subscribe to this monthly women’s missions lifestyle magazine, visit wmustore.com.